Nick De Leon, son of former Trinidad and Tobago great Leroy De Leon is keeping his options available and is likely to consider playing for this country. De Leon was a first round draft pick by DC United for the upcoming American MLS season and when asked about his eligibility for T&T, he said he was working on it. “Getting a passport anyway, just so I have that option available. My agent has talked to them a little bit but we have nothing concrete.”
Daddy De Leon, according to the Washington Post, was among the first wave of international players to reach American shores when the NASL launched in 1967. He played 16 years in US leagues, the final four with the MISL’s Phoenix Inferno. His best outdoor season was in 1970 with 15 goals in 20 matches for the Darts. With the Dips, he posted 18 goals and 11 assists in 50 matches. His son is now hoping to have a similar impact on the game. “I have his genes, so soccer is in me. He has talked to me about the distractions that come when you become a pro. He went through the same thing. I didn’t ask for details and he was telling me he went the wrong way. He has harped on me to focus on soccer right now because it can take you places,” said the 21-year-old Arizona-born.
Theobald makes bright debut in India
Former national captain Densill Theobald made his debut for Dempo SC in the Indian Premier Football League recently and helped the team to a 3-2 win over Air India. Theobald had to wait close to six months before getting the necessary clearance to play in the League and was featured in the Indian Press following his debut. Speaking after the win, he said: “They played well, especially in the first half, when they gave us a run for their money. Their goalkeeper was brilliant and he really stood tall in-between us and the goal.” Theobald has been telling stories of his 2006 World Cup experience and also spoke of how two cricket stars influenced him to move to India. “I feel it is a great opportunity and experience for me. I have loved the culture of the country and I am glad to have such co-operative team-mates.” “Brian Lara and Dwayne Bravo are my very good friends. They have obviously come to India quite a few times and they advised me to come to India and give it a try. I thought that I should explore it.”
Mexican coach surprised by T&T’s exit
Since participating in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Mexican women’s national coach Leonardo Cuéllar feels it is vital for El Tri to reach the London Games this summer. And as his team looks ahead to the upcoming final round of qualifiers, he mentioned his surprise over Trinidad and Tobago’s exit. The Mexicans will try to qualify for an opportunity to take on the world’s best starting tomorrow in a CONCACAF qualifying tournament in Vancouver. Cuéllar called the Dominican Republic’s participation “a surprise.” He admitted he was expecting T&T or Jamaica to reach the final qualifying competition. “The fact they have left T&T out is a very clear signal they have impressed and they are very strong. T&T has given us a lot of trouble in the Pan American Games. So I expect a very athletic and very strong team.”
Airtel takes Yorke to Sri Lanka
Following a 5-year sponsorship deal with Manchester United, Bharti Airtel, is taking ex-stars Dwight Yorke and Bryan Robson to Sri Lanka later this week. The two players will meet the Sri Lankan media tomorrow where along with Bharti’s local partner, Airtel Lanka, a deal will be announced with the British champion team. Robson, the longest serving Manchester United captain and a former captain of the English national football side, and Yorke would be arriving from Bangladesh where they are visiting on a similar tour and deal-announcement organized by Bharti Airtel. The tie up with Airtel Lanka provides for a host of Manchester United Value Added Services (VAS) being added to the service. This includes Manchester United Ring Tones, Ringing Tones and other branded merchandise which can be used as customer promotions and so on, according to a company statement. Yorke has also been part of the UEFA Champions’ League trophy tour.
Roberts on trial with Houston Dynamo
National striker Darryl Roberts is currently on a two-week trial with American Major League club Houston Dynamo. Roberts left T&T a few days ago to begin the stint after training with the senior team prior to Sunday’s friendly versus Finland. Roberts missed T&T’s last set of Word Cup qualifying matches including the ones versus Guyana after suffering a fractured elbow while on trial in South Africa. Meantime, 19-year-old Cordell Cato has started training with Seattle Sounders after officially being unveiled as the club’s new signing last week. And club owner Joe Roth seemed impressed with him after witnessing a training session at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila. “I wanted to see the guys. First time out banging with each other. I think we’ve been more aggressive this year than the last three years: Nine players have left from last season. I was really happy with the move we made in Scandinavia between Sivebaek and Johansson. The kid (Cato) from Trinidad looks pretty good. “The two rookies look good. So I’m happy about it. Of course, brand new day with a brand new goalie,” Roth said.